U.S. Air Force awards GPS III launch services contract

U.S. Air Force awards GPS III launch services contract

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US: SpaceX will receive a $290,594,130 firm-fixed-price contract for launch services to deliver three GPS III missions (1 base and 2 options) to the intended orbit using two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELVs).

The launch contract provides the government with a total launch solution for the GPS III mission, including launch vehicle production, mission integration, launch operations and spaceflight certification. The launches will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station or Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The GPS III missions are planned to launch between late 2019 and 2020.

“The three GPS III missions will deliver sustained, reliable GPS capabilities to America’s warfighters, our allies and civil users,” the U.S. Air Force said in a statement. GPS provides positioning, navigation and timing service to civil and military users worldwide.

This is the fourth competition under the current Phase 1A procurement strategy. Both launch service contract awards strike a balance between meeting operational needs and lowering launch costs through reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions, according to Los Angeles Air Force Base, which made the announcement.